I've done a lot of thinking the past seven years about forgiveness.
If you have been a regular reader, and you are willing to believe that I have tried to be honest about what happened, and why I stayed, you know that I have a lot to forgive of a lot of people.
When all this exploded in my face back in July of 1998, I was not in possession of all the facts, I wonder today if I have all of them today; what I do know today is far worse than what I knew in '98, and it has been a struggle to hang onto my willingness to forgive.
In August of 2002 I came to understand how incredibly evil people will be when money is involved, I thought I knew about evil until then, and I have to say that the enormity of what was revealed is one of those things you NEVER 'get over', NEVER 'get past', and NEVER 'get through'.
These bastards will never be prosecuted for what they let happen-in full knowledge-but they damn sure will face God, and two little girl's angels. For the first time in any of my lives I hoped to be able to see them sent to Hell, may God help me forgive myself.
March of 2003 I found out a few more things-the new information put me on the "grief diet" but interestingly, saved my life at the same time; what I found out in the fall of 2005 was the so-called final straw.
I have never been all that big on revenge, but justice means quite a lot to me, and I while I know that God is in charge, and that the people responsible for all of this will meet God soon, I am rather hopeful they meet what we used to call Caesar's justice first.
It wasn't just our lives, but several others, and the ripple, or what I call Crusty's little snowball has become an avalanche of horror.
I've always been a reader of the Psalms; one has lines that speak often to what I felt and still feel:
"...Had it been an enemy that vaunted himself against me, this I could have borne, but it was you, my companion, my good friend, with whom I'd broken bread, with whom I entered into the sanctuary..." (PS-not talking about Crusty here, I knew he was the enemy from Day One.)
I've learned a lot about forgiveness in the 5K years I've been walking around.
I didn't need to re-learn it, and I didn't need it to be tested.
If God is willing to forgive, so am I.
But the need for these people to take real responsibility for what they did is what it will take to earn my forgiveness, and God's.
Because it is the penultimate act of jailhouse lawyerism to think that you can ask God for forgiveness without also-FIRST-asking the people you hurt on purpose. Anything else is avoiding real acts of responsibility while expecting God's willingness to forgive to grant you an 'get out of jail free' card-trust me, this amounts to breaking the Third Commandment by abusing His name, which is MERCY. As Jesus taught, you cannot expect mercy if you did not extend it...
I talk a lot about jailhouse lawyers-my utter contempt should be patently clear (is this what is known as 'disclosure?:) as regards anyone who commits evil by choice and then looks for a loophole to avoid the just consequences.
I often say that God doesn't do jailhouse lawyers, and that there are no adjoining cells in Hell.
You'd think that a serious "Duh!" moment, nah, people will lie, deny, and buy any out they think will pass.
I'm going to start saying that God is merciful-not stupid.
He is willing to forgive us anything, even utter evil, if we will truly take responsibility for what we have done; I am going to keep praying that every one of God's children who needs it opens their heart to it.
But, He doesn't do jailhouse lawyers, and He isn't stupid.
Just so's ya know...